Pruyn House - Verdoy Schoolhouse
This historic schoolhouse was built in 1910 in the hamlet of Verdoy, located near the Albany International Airport. It functioned until 1958, and was then used as a storage warehouse. Likely destined for demolition, it was donated to the Town by the North Colonie School District and moved to the Pruyn House site in 1995 to be restored for community use.
Fundraising for the restoration project was spearheaded by a volunteer group of Colonie residents and the schoolhouse played a prominent role in the Town's 1995 centennial celebration. A time capsule with artifacts from the 1990s is buried nearby and will be opened for the Town's bicentennial anniversary in 2095.
In the mid-19th century, one-room schoolhouses served families in rural communities throughout the United States. The schoolhouse at Verdoy - one of 12 one-roomers in Albany County as early as 1821 - accommodated grades one through eight. Attendance rules were flexible to permit students to help with farm chores at planting and harvest times. Children were welcome at age five and could remain until age 21.
By age 14, students were expected to read and write, master basic mathematics, geography and history, and appreciate the obligations of citizenship. Parents and teachers believed that Bible study and good behavior were important features of an education, and punishment was freely administered for a student's misbehavior. Boys and girls in rural communities generally left school in their mid-teens to work on farms, in stores, and in factories.
The Verdoy schoolhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.